Dvla assessment

Hi Guys, diagnosed last may. Shake in right hand otherwise just slower. Feel confident with my driving but got an assessment next week and I can feel myself getting more and more anxious. Have to have occ therapist assessment and cognitive test and then driving . Anyone put my mind at rest please and give me some idea of what to expect. Thanks for your help. Lois


It’s an irrelevant question from me because you have the assessment booked but how did you end up at this point?
I was diagnosed 10 years ago and my GP fills in a form every 3 years to confirm my ability to drive. At some time he’ll start signing me off in single years and eventually I will need a retest.
Your retest seems to be a bit early.

Regardless of your answer best of luck to you and don’t worry

My Neurologist just told me to disclose to dvla which I did I think I gave the doctor a form to complete for me. He hasn’t mentioned anything else but to be honest it took them about 5 years to diagnose so they are not hot on it!

Hi Lanier

Disclosed to Dvla my diagnosis last year so I thought this was run of the mill. Did have cause to ring dvla as have thrown my current picture licence away. Thinking about it now they said a third party had disclosed to them I had surrendered my licence…I just thought this was normal.

I know someone who had mild dementia, still very capable, and someone reported them to the DVLA. They are still trying to get a reversal of the withdrawal of their licence.

I wish you luck. It does seem early to have to have this test. My OH had a 3 year license renewed for a long time, then yearly until it was revoked.

Hi, I have only just seen this - and you may have had your assessment by now, but for everyone who may read this, I thought I’d contribute. I used to work in one of the DVLA accredited driver assessment centres and was qualified as an Occupational Therapist AND a driving instructor - so used to do both parts of the assessment. I am now retired, due to my hubby having PD. He self-monitors his driving ability and sometimes it is best for him not to drive, so I really understand your situation.(How awful for him to be married to a medical driving assessor!!)
To put your mind at rest, all the assessors are looking forin the pre-drive Occupational Therapy assessment of physical cognitive and reaction time tests, is how the driver’s medical condition affects him / her. There is no pass or fail on those tests. Then, armed with this info, in the practical drive, they look at whether those clinical effects are detrimental to the actual driving. I have assessed folks who have significant clinical deficits, leading their doctors to have concerns, but in the car they are fine, and the assessment proves that. (I have also assessed people who appear very well on the pre-drive tests, but who then go on the try and kill me in the car!!! - but that is another tale… ) All we need is to see a drive that is as safe as anyone else out there - we do not look for driving test standard - we all know the standard of driving is extremely variable in the general population!! It is NOT a driving test like everyone imagines - because the ‘L’ driver test does not test the effects that Parkinsons (in this case) may have on a driver. Without any preparation training, the ordinary driving test would be failed by around 7 out of 10 experienced drivers anyway and that would be nothing to do with any medical condition! So - what do we look for in PD? Here are some examples - you’ll recognise the kind of PD symptoms we are interested in:
Physical coordination of controls, hazard spotting, quick responses, concentration, reasoning, and ability to multi task.
If the assessor discovers any difficulty, they aim to find a solution - e.g. physical coordination of controls - if it is left limbs affected, you can try an automatic car to see if this helps your control. If it is bimanual coordination problems, maybe a steering aid for use with the ‘better hand’ would be a solution. The driving advisor will offer trial of anything you might need, and see if you like it and if it helps. The aim is to help you continue driving if it is at all safely possible.
I hope that helps, but for further information do check the assessment centres umbrella organisation https://www.drivingmobility.org.uk

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Hi there. This happened to one of our branch members recently. I advised her getting a driving lesson to get her up-to-date with the latest way in which tests were carried out. She found it very helpful and was more confident going into the Assessment. She passed with straight As and the examiner said that he had no idea why she was being assessed, only saying that he would have to note the tremor in his report. Like others who have replied, I have a tremor but get my licence renewed every three years. Good luck

Thank you so much for your response. I had the assessment on Monday and passed with flying colours. The assessors were very good and very friendly which immediately put my mind at rest. I had spent all of Sunday going over the Highway code road signs thinking I’m never going to remember these. Monday started with tears but I pulled myself together. I think my worry was the anxiety in that it would get the better of me and make my shake worse but as I said the ladies were very good and they said apart from my tremor they would have had no idea I had PD. I have to wait for the report and see what the DVLA decides for me. Hopefully it will be at least three years more of independence. :blue_car:

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Awww I am so glad. Well done. Yes, my hubby’s physical ability does not respond well to change, stress, challenges and appointment times so I know what you mean.
As a retired driving instructor I’m bound to comment that all that unnecessary Highway Code swotting won’t have done any harm eh?! Ha-ha. All the best…

If I may comment as a retired medical assessor – it is good that the client felt more confident, but someone trying to drive ‘by the book’ after having lessons from an ‘L’ driver trainer makes the assessor’s job more difficult. The driving becomes a little ‘false’ and wooden. This can be symptom of someone trying too hard to be correct, OR confusingly, like the driving of someone with cognitive problems. It is best to just drive as you normally do - relax, cross your hands on the steering wheel, palm it, do all the ‘naughty’ things you normally do (and so does everyone else) the fluidity of your drive will be better. A normal driving instructor trains drivers for the ‘L’ test, and doesn’t know what medical assessors look for. A brief story to illustrate - a driver with a head injury started his drive and within 30 seconds I could tell he’d done advanced driver training. Chattily, to relax him, I asked him if he had ever done such training. He fudged an answer, clearly not wanting to tell me. He gave me the nearest thing to a perfect drive I’d ever witnessed - pure poetry. Not what I was looking for though. I detected no signs of head injury symptoms, mentally ticking the medical assessment boxes in my head as we progressed. At the end, after I gave him the good news, he confessed to being a police class 1 pursuit driver but had not wanted to tell me as he thought it might affect my judgement standards. But conversely I also assessed a 19 year old military squaddie with a head injury who drove like a 19 year old on a night out with his mates - badly - and again, I was ticking off the medical aspects in my head and there were none. It was pure teenage idiocy. At the end, for max impact I debriefed using squaddie language he would understand and take on board, saying 'I can tell you confidently that you WILL have a prang one day, but it will be nothing to do with your head injury, its because you are an 'a***hole. His mummy (and other road users) would have been very pleased her son got the waggy finger and a detailed lecture about his safety faults that day when he was passed medically fit to drive. Hope that explains that perfect driving is not the requirement.

Fascinating. What an interesting job you had. Thanks for the input from the assessor’s viewpoint. My colleague was in a situation where she faced possible loss of her independence and so you can understand that that worry might also have given a false impression of her normal driving skills- she had taken her test 45 years ago. Hopefully she will hear the outcome soon. Thanks for your comments which will reassure those facing such an assessment

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